Thursday, September 16, 2010

not a greeting card.

I hate buying greeting cards.

The sentimental ones only offer canned poetry. [I like my emotions raw, thank you.] And the funny ones? Are never very funny. So if it's your birthday, you might get a haiku from me. [Or a poem that looks like a haiku but lacks the proper syllabic rhythm.] 

The card itself might look a little unprofessional [read: grade-schoolish] – the glue will wrinkle the paper, which will not be straight-cut, and my handwriting might look a lot more Kindergarten teacher than calligraphic. But I hope you'll be able to feel the all that I packed behind those words.

If you're my mom, today's your birthday. But you're not getting a card from me.

I thought about making one, but the poem never came. I thought about buying one, but it seemed so halfway.

You know I'm thinking about you today. And we already gave you our gift. Of course, you can expect a phone call, too. But I have something else for you.

Last night, I was driving home from yoga class when I decided on it. It was right after I saw the half-moon out my window.

I had been feeling rather half-empty the whole day. Like I was leaking energy. Or maybe like it was being sucked out. Physically, I felt okay. It was a mental drain.

At the end of class, my instructor took us through a visualization with the intent of sealing in our prana – our life force, our vitality. Because there are so many ways life can deplete us, she said.

No kidding. There's worrying. And caretaking. The occasional [and sometimes constant] emotional roller coaster. Interactions. Duties. Giving. Guilt. Creative processes. Searching. And the puddles of self can make the floor so slippery. 

On my way home, after this practice, I still felt half-glassed – but I felt half-full. Like that waxing gibbous moon out my window, winking at me with one eye, on its way to a full face, more tomorrow than it is right now.

And I thought of you. Maybe because you really get yoga [and you got it before I ever did]. Or maybe it's because I think you know all about the waxing and the waning and the ups and the downs, because you've been here and are here and…well…this is life.

So what I wanted to give you was that visualization. Not so much the words themselves but the experience of it. The cross legged, spine straightened, room darkened, breath patterned experience of it. And the energy. The heat I felt filling my body and buoying my mind. You would have really liked it.

So here it is. Find your seated posture, tall spine and all that. Close your eyes and locate the tools of sensory experience – eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, skin. As you breathe in, imagine a white light entering your body through these places and congregating in your head. At the top of your inhale, pause for a second or two and imagine the light filling the part of your brain that rests just behind the space between your eyes. As you exhale, see the light leaving the way it came in. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If you have trouble imagining the light itself, think instead about how the light would feel traveling those pathways. After using the visualization for awhile, release it and simply sit in stillness.

That's for you.

Happy birthday, dear Mother. Much love to you. I hope you feel full today.